Streaming. If you play fantasy sports, you’ve probably occasionally heard the term thrown around. Fantasywired.com provides a great definition: “In short, streaming is the strategy of plucking a player at a specific position (usually QB, DEF, K, or TE) off the waiver wire ahead of a favorable matchup the following week.” Many people criticize the strategy claiming it uses hindsight to validate it, but I’ve been a successful streamer in several leagues at several positions over the last 20-ish years of playing fantasy football. Each week I will provide you with a few options at Quarterback, Tight End and Defense, with my top pick at each position. I can assure you I’ll be using these picks myself on at least one of my nearly 30 fantasy teams.
If you’d like to see my methodology or the player pool I’ll be choosing from, I covered both extensively in the week 1 installment. You can find the detailed breakdown here.
WEEK 8 STREAMER OPTIONS
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Mayfield faces a Steelers team allowing 24 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the back of 15 passing scores allowed. The Browns may not be as good as many thought initially, but they’re still better than they’ve been in several years. The Browns have a few nice matchups in the passing game this week to exploit as well. With this only being Nick Chubb’s second week as an NFL starter, I still don’t expect them to lean on him too heavily just yet. As a result, they should attack Pittsburgh through the air, giving Mayfield nice upside this week.
Case Keenum, Denver Broncos
The Broncos are projected to score 22 points this week and are also 9.5-point underdogs as well. The Broncos should need a strong showing from Keenum to hang in this contest, and the Chiefs are allowing over 21 fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals
Another week, another C.J. Uzomah sighting. Considering how awful the TE landscape has been in 2018, it’s amazing that Uzomah is only 35% owned. He is currently TE17 and was in a 3-way timeshare earlier in the year and has been productive since Bengal injuries have thrust him into the starting tight end role. He gets the Buccaneers defense this week who have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in four straight games and haven’t allowed fewer than 15 points to an opposing TE since week 1. Tight ends are averaging a league-best 19.6 fantasy points when facing the Buccaneers.
Jeff Heuerman, Denver Broncos
The Chiefs defense can’t stop opposing tight ends, allowing the most yardage to the position in the NFL. Back in week 4, Heuerman led the Broncos in targets and receiving yards against this very defensive unit, throwing up a 4 catch, 57-yard stat-line on 7 targets.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs should get themselves a lead early in this matchup, forcing Keenum to throw early and often. Keenum has thrown 9 interceptions this season and has thrown an interception in 7 straight games. Turnovers lead to fantasy points for defenses, and the Chiefs should get themselves at least one interceptions this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners do not have an elite defense. It’s barely good on its best day if we are totally honest. They do get to face a Cardinals team who has looked abysmal on offense so far, that will be in a slight adjustment period with a new offensive coordinator. The firing of Mike McCoy which can only help long-term, but first time OC Byron Leftwich has taken the helm, and this might be the only time to use the 49ers defense all year as he gets acclimated to the NFL.
Joe Flacco had a decent week, finishing as a QB1 (QB11 for the week) with 19.6 fantasy points. He threw for 279 yards and two scores, and more was out there for him if a few of his receivers didn’t let him down (I’m looking at you, Willie Snead). Eli Manning was my second option, and he finished just about even with Flacco, finishing with 20.7 points. (Streaming Quarterback ranking on the season: QB 11, 134 points)
I went back to the C.J. Uzomah well, and it worked out alright. In a down year for the position, this seems to get harder and harder each week. Uzomah only caught two balls for a measly 13 yards, but his lone touchdown helped save the day for fantasy, giving him 9.3 points, good enough for a finish as TE11. Charles Clay was my backup plan, and he caught three passes for 14 yards, but without the score like Uzomah had, he only amassed 2.4 fantasy points. (Streaming Tight End ranking on the season: TE 14, 52 points)
Another big weekend for my streaming defenses. The Colts tallied 16 fantasy points on the back of three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and two sacks, while only allowing 3 points against. The Lions defense as my second plan would have only gotten you four points. (Streaming Defense ranking on the season: Dst 1, 84 points)